Biological Physics Seminar:"Organizing principles behind two diverse systems: the immune system and the microbiome"

Date: 
Wed, 20/11/2019 - 10:00 to 11:30

Location: 
Danciger B building, Seminar room
Lecturer: Amir Erez, Princeton University
Abstract:
Both the immune system and the microbiome - the communities of microbes that live in us - are complex dynamical systems which impact our health and well-being in many ways. However, their huge complexity seemingly poses a barrier towards their understanding, motivating approaches that strip down this complexity to its essential elements. To guide our understanding, we can turn to physics to seek out organizing principles. In this talk, I present several such organizing principles distilled from particular biological contexts, but which apply broadly across different systems. Making use of these principles - including temporal continuity of protein abundance, conservation of chemical elements, and trade-offs in resource allocation – I show how one can develop theory, glean new insight from experimental data, generate hypotheses, and guide experiments. Finally, I will briefly discuss my plans to study immune-microbiome interactions.